Photo: Sabrina A. Buttitta, Barry Block Landscape Design & Contracting

Early Spring

 Volume II, Issue 1March 2011 
In This Issue
About Us
Greetings from Barry
Jump Ahead
Barry's Pick of the Month

About Us

Award winning and formally trained landscape design/build firm providing services from design concept to complete installation.

We undertake a variety of projects from small to large sites and from country to contemporary gardens.

All of our projects receive personal attention and unique designs to fit your lifestyle. 

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Can you believe spring's arrival is only days away! Get ready - on March 20, at 7:21 p.m. EDT, the spring equinox will be here. Day and night are each 12 hours long, and the sun is at the midpoint of the sky. It's hard to believe that another winter season is behind us, and our treasured warm spring days are just ahead. I know I can't wait to be outside and done with this cabin fever!


Below, find out why it pays to be ahead of the game and start your spring planning now in order to enjoy your garden as early as possible. 


Also, don't miss my new Pick of the Month, where I will feature some of my favorite plants that you will find in your gardens!







Jump Ahead


We all know the daylight savings time adage, "fall back, spring forward" (speaking of which, don't forget to set your clocks ahead on March 13 at 2 a.m.!). Well the time has come again to spring forward and get ahead of the game! You might be thinking, "But Barry, it's still cold outside and there are no signs of spring yet. What can I do outside now?" There is plenty of preparation to begin, as well as planning out any future projects to have completed for the summer.


Here are some of my top suggestions to complete and take advantage of now so you are sure to enjoy your garden as early as possible:


Get On Board Now: Like the other adage, "the early bird catches the worm," it's so true and it's critical to begin the plan aheadplanning process now to ensure enjoyment for the summer. While the economy might be down, the bubble has not burst in the Hamptons. We are still keeping busy and plan to get busier in the next few weeks. As a result, we recommend scheduling your project now before we become too booked. Additionally, if your project requires special permits (i.e.: pools, pool houses, etc.) and other planning processes, it is also beneficial to begin early so that you don't waste precious summer months with paperwork.  


Best Selections Available: Local greenhouses and garden centers are now fully stocked with fresh material, as well asgreenhouse flowers plant selections new to the market. Nobody likes getting the last tray of straggly stock that may or may not come back, right? By planning out your garden needs now, you can be sure you get your first choice selections and have the highest quality material that will thrive all season.   


Spring is for Transplanting + Renovating: Have you wanted to relocate some plants, but weren't sure what was the best time? Spring is the second best time (compared to breaking groundfall) that will put the least amount of stress on plants. Additionally, if you are having yard renovations done, spring is when major "ground-breaking" should begin. Most plants are still partially dormant, and the cool, wet spring weather will allow them to develop good root growth and become established before the hot, dry weather of summer.


Clean Now, Chillax Later: With winter drawing to a close, there are many things that need to be taken care of after these past few months of whipping winds. Similar to fall, these are the maintenance applications to complete now: 

  • Clean lawns and garden beds (make room for this year's growth and emerging spring bulbs)
  • Spring fertilize to enhance root health
  • Prune to provide overall plant health care (remove dead wood)
  • Prune to repair winter storm damage
  • Unwrap broadleaf evergreens covered in burlap
  • Refresh mulch layers
  • Apply repellents to prevent deer damage

So as we all begin to come out of hibernation, start thinking what your garden necessities are and be proactive. While the Hamptons have been peaceful with no crowds, it won't be long before the hustle and bustle returns. Save yourself the hassle and begin planning now. You should be relaxing, not working, during the summer season!


For more information on preparing and scheduling for spring projects, please don't hesitate to contact us to set up a consultation!

Barry's Pick of the Month
Witch Hazel
Witch Hazel
Hamamelis virginiana


Form: Vase-shaped, reaching heights of 12 feet or more with a similar spread.

Foliage + Flowers: Leaves are long, wavy and toothed, turning yellow in the fall. Flowers bear a warm, spicy fragrance and precede the leaves, blooming in late winter to early spring. The fringe-like petals on these yellow flowers resemble small strips of paper.

Requirements: Full sun to partial shade in a well-drained, acidic soil amended with humus. Suitable for woodland gardens.

Outstanding Feature: Blooming so brightly as it does in March when the landscape is generally still in its dull winter doldrums, this bush is a must-have for the four season landscape.


Interesting Feature: The medicinal benefits of the bark are well known through the "witch hazel" liquid we buy at pharmacies to use as an astringent. European settlers used the branches of as divining rods for dowsing (detecting water).

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